A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Losing my Muse!

I've lost my Muse.....hopefully only temporarily. Such a frustrating experience, to go into my sewing room with no ideas or inspiration as to what I'm going to do!! I think I'm suffering from some sort of "overload". All those photographs and sketches I produced at Dungeness, and then going to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, and trying to remember all the wonderful art quilts I saw there has just fried my brain!!

Fortunately, I think I may have discovered an antidote to all this frantic "input". I've recently been following a blog called spiritcloth.com which is all about a much more meditative and thoughtful approach to stitch and art cloth. Obviously a far slower technique to what I'm used to, but I've produced a couple of pieces of work that have given me a surprising feeling of satisfaction. I don't think that they have necessarily been that successful as stand alone art works, but they have calmed my mind and helped to quell that feeling of panic. One piece has been produced as a possible entry for a challenge that I'm hoping to take part in, so for that reason I'm only showing a small part of it. The challenge is to produce a small quiltlet entitled "Childhood Memories", and I have to say that using this slower, meditative approach has  been really helpful. A very personal memory map, and something that seemed to evolve as I slowly stitched and "remembered".
This second piece was inspired by the view from my sewing room window, all the lush greens in our garden and beyond. I just picked small bits of fabric from my "bits" box, and then hand stitched them down, allowing their shapes and patterns to dictate how and where I stitched.  Hopefully this slower pace of working will give my Muse a chance to recover and return, with a fully charged battery!!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Meeting other Artists

Today I had the pleasure of sharing "a selling space" with Oliver Lett, a very talented young artist. He paints funky dogs, cats and London Scenes, and is also awaiting the publication of a new childrens' book that he has illustrated. Visit his website http://www.oliverlett.co.uk/  We were at a the Epsom Downs Trainers Day at the invitation of Jackie Kahn, the owner of the Corner Gallery in Carshalton Beeches, Surrey. Both myself and Ollie have exhibited very successfully at Jackie's gallery, but it was good to take our art out to the masses for a change.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Out and About.

Two more observations from my sketch book. The first I made  recently while sitting on the beach at East Wittering as the tide was coming in. The second was made in Dungeness, Kent, and is a study of the late Brian Yales cottage and garden. There are some amazing sculptures and artworks in his garden, but too difficult to see properly or to reproduce in a sketch like this. I have just drawn some very vague shapes in the foreground to indicate where a few of these amazing pieces are.

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Reference material.

Photos of rocks on the beach at Pett Level, East Sussex. I just love the colours and markings, good references for future textile work. Below is a sketch I made from another piece of rock, I should have photographed it too, but forgot as I was concentrating  too hard on "looking".

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Sunday, 8 August 2010

I've started to quilt the panel that I dyed, printed, discharge printed, and overdyed a few weeks ago at the Wet n Wild workshop I'm doing with Clair and Leslie of Committed to Cloth. I'm not sure yet how far I'll go with this, it seems at the moment that the more I quilt, the more I feel I need to quilt! I don't want to make that fatal mistake of not knowing when to stop, so I'm taking it in small easy stages. This is just a small section of the overall panel, I'll post a full picture Once I know it's finished. I just love free machine quilting, I could "draw" with my needle and thread all day.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

I've also edited last weeks post, and have made some changes to my Autumn trees piece.

Friday, 6 August 2010

The fourth, and last of the Hundertwasser inspired JQ's. This one is also applique but I've heavily satin stitched in white between the pieces to give the mosaic effect. I've free machine quilted three different leaf shapes, and an insect on four of the areas. I've enjoyed making these four little quilts, and now have to decide a theme for the last four months of 2010. Not too sure yet what I'm going to do but I'm working on it. I would also like to take part in the new CQGB challenge for 2011. The theme for this is to produce an A3 sized quilt called "Childhood Memories". I'm actually finding this quite difficult, but I think I may have the germ of an idea beginning to form, so another autumn project in the pipeline.